North Korea’s hydrogen bomb: a bluff or reality?

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb: a bluff or reality?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

One month after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un announced that his country developed a hydrogen bomb, local media said today the bomb has been tested, and linked the last night's 5.1-magnitude tremor next to the country's Punggye-ri nuclear test site to the underground bomb test.

But experts or security bodies of other countries haven't confirmed that such a test indeed took place, as a nuclear or a hydrogen bomb can't be tested in a clandestine manner, or due to fact that the depth of a tremor can't be kept in secret.

This in turn has further put the validity of the bomb test reports under question.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a session in the coming days to further investigate the issue. Most probably, the North Korea's hydrogen bomb test announcement, which coincided with an earthquake, is a political bluff that has only domestic consumption.

Both theoretically and practically, making a hydrogen bomb, which is similar to a process taking place in the Sun - called fusion - is much more complicated than making an ordinary nuclear bomb based on fission. Making a hydrogen bomb requires increasing temperature in the process to several million degrees Celsius to pave the way for a nuclear fusion. This is similar to the process that occurs in stars, when temperature rises so high that it makes fusion possible among hydrogen atoms.

Meanwhile, a radiation case, or a hohlraum is needed to contain the free neutrons in order to raise the temperature to several million degrees Celsius and create conditions for a nuclear fusion.

In other words, a hydrogen bomb intrinsically includes nuclear fission of unstable radioactive substances, such as uranium and plutonium. North Korea found the technology to make fission-based nuclear bombs a decade ago. The country, which is isolated from the global community, has so far conducted three nuclear tests. But, it is doubtful whether it could acquire a technology that India or Pakistan haven't been able to acquire.

It is true that humans are a result of a nuclear fusion - all the atoms making the Earth, galaxies and our bodies have been the result of a nuclear fusion. However, the nuclear fusion is also a nightmare for human beings. A hydrogen bomb has the destructive power of several million times more than an ordinary nuclear bomb.

So, such a technology's being acquired by an unaccountable country, as North Korea could be a global disaster. And as many theorists had predicted, production of such weapons - the thermonuclear weapons probably capable of destroying the whole human culture and even the human race - hadn't been limited to a few countries.

There is always a threat of military action or conflict in interests among countries. And at a time when some countries hold strategic weapons, others will have no feeling of security.


Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector and head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

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